3 die, 1 hurt in latest Cotabato violence

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews/28 August) — Three persons were killed and another was seriously wounded in yet another shooting incident in the city, this time atop Tanghal Bridge in Barangay Bagua Mother.

The latest shooting happened at past 5:10 p.m. and the victims were village councilman and three village watchmen.

Senior Supt. Rex Anongos, Cotabato City police director, said about six gunmen on board a four-wheel vehicle and a motorbike opened fire on the Barangay Bagua Mother patrol vehicle parked atop a bridge, just beside the Barangay Tanod outpost.

Anongos identified the slain village councilman as Misuari Karim of Barangay Bagua Mother, along with “barangay tanods” (village watchmen) Mamanta Kalim and Theng Wahab. Another tanod, Omar Abo, was in critical condition in the hospital.

Responding policemen recovered empty shells for AK-47 rifle, M-16 Armalite rifle, cal. 45 pistol and 9mm pistol.

Anongos said the victims were inside a parked government issued red multi-cab atop the bridge when the attacker opened fire.

Witnesses said the victims were caught unaware and failed to return fire on the attackers who quickly sped away.

Other village watchmen rushed the victims to the hospital.

Anongos said the motive could be personal.

About 30 minutes earlier, Karim visited the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group office at PC Hill, Cotabato City where he sought assistance after receiving death threats, CIDG officials said.

Karim chairs the Barangay Council committee on peace and order and spearheaded the campaign against illegal drugs in the village.

Since 4 p.m. Thursday until today’s ambush in Barangay Bagua, a total of six persons have been killed in five shooting incidents in what residents described as “shooting season.”

This August alone, at least 15 shooting incidents were recorded by the Cotabato City police office. (Ferdinandh B. Cabrera/MindaNews)